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Endoscopic transorbital approach bone pillars: a comprehensive stepwise anatomical appraisal.

OBJECTIVE: The endoscopic superior eyelid transorbital approach has garnered significant consideration and gained popularity in recent years. Detailed anatomical knowledge along with clinical experience has allowed refinement of the technique as well as expansion of its indications. Using bone as a consistent reference, the authors identified five main bone pillars that offer access to the different intracranial targeted areas for different pathologies of the skull base, with the aim of enhancing the understanding of the intracranial areas accessible through this corridor.

METHODS: The authors present a bone-oriented review of the anatomy of the transorbital approach in which they conducted a 3D analysis using Brainlab software and performed dry skull and subsequent cadaveric dissections.

RESULTS: Five bone pillars of the transorbital approach were identified: the lesser sphenoid wing, the sagittal crest (medial aspect of the greater sphenoid wing), the anterior clinoid, the middle cranial fossa, and the petrous apex. The associations of these bone targets with their respective intracranial areas are reported in detail.

CONCLUSIONS: Identification of consistent bone references after the skin incision has been made and the working space is determined allows a comprehensive understanding of the anatomy of the approach in order to safely and effectively perform transorbital endoscopic surgery in the skull base.

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